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Members of teams that are not active in the gameplay due to a limit on how many can be active at once.

Many games pitch teams against each other and typically have a limit on how many participants each team should have. However, such games may allow more members in team than may be active at once, either to handle uneven teams or due to the gameplay being exhaustive or worse to team members. Permitting this in games introduces Reserves for each team.


Sports such as American Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey, and Soccer all make use of Reserves. Blood Bowl shows the use of Reserves in a Board Game that depicts a fictional game in a fantasy world. Tekken Tag Tournament is a Computer Game example that shows how Reserves can be used in games with teams as small as those consisting of two members.

Using the pattern

Reserves are used in games with Teams to make it possible to vary the Agents or Characters that are active in the Teams. There are typically to two reasons why this might be considered. One is that the Agents or Characters have Asymmetric Abilities and one wants to be able to configure so the ones playing have the best skills for any particular situation. The other is that the game requires Physical Enactment or Player Physical Prowess and the team members do need to rest due to the tempo of the game. A secondary cause in the case of games that require Player Physical Prowess is to smoothen out Performance Uncertainty due to the exhaustion of team members.

In games where Characters are Reserves in Teams, it is typically players that choose which Characters should be in these Reserves. Players may be able to select themselves to be in the Reserves when they constitute the Teams but an alternative is to let Coaches do this.


Being in the Reserves cause downtime for players. It also allows them to engage in Tactical Planning but even in games where the Teams are made up of Characters can Tactical Planning be a result of Reserves. This since the players choosing which Characters to use do Tactical Planning regarding this.


Can Instantiate

Downtime, Tactical Planning

Can Modulate


Performance Uncertainty in games with Player Physical Prowess

Agents, Characters, Physical Enactment, and Player Physical Prowess in games with Teams

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By

Asymmetric Abilities, Coaches

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.